Charlie Nicholas is tipping Celtic to reach the Scottish Cup Final for the simple reason that Ange Postecoglou knows how to win the Derby match.
Last August the new Celtic boss took a work-in-motion side to Ibrox on the back of six derby matches without a win. Like it or not the Australian inherited that unwanted stat.
Celtic lost on August 29 but some new bhoys learned a lesson, Jota, Cameron Carter Vickers and Giorgos Giakoumakis were signed before the window closed with four more significant signings made in January.
When the Glasgow sides met up again in February Celtic were unrecognisable, new Ibrox boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s plans were swotted aside as the hoops took over at the top of the SPFL Premiership.
At the start of this month at Ibrox Celtic showed a different way to win with Nicholas telling Daily Express readers that he expects that run of victories to continue at Hampden on Sunday:
Celtic have dangers all over the pitch even if Giorgos Giakoumakis misses out. How will Rangers stop Tom Rogic, Matt O’Riley and Callum McGregor from the midfield?
It is also clear that genuine pace troubles the Rangers’ defence. I would leave out Leon Balogun and if Filip Helander was fit I would play him.
If not I would move Calvin Bassey into the middle and play Borna Barasic at left-back.
Ange Postecoglou knows how to beat Rangers. Van Bronckhorst needs to find a way to shake things up.
It is not a case of getting physical because Celtic have shown that won’t knock them out of their stride. Rangers need Ryan Kent and Ramsey to turn up.
Everything they have tried in recent games hasn’t really worked and I would reckon Rangers will feel rather timid going into this semi-final.
Kyogo Furuhashi is back on the bench for Celtic but I don’t see him coming in to start if Giakoumakis doesn’t make it.
I would reckon he would probably go for Daizen Maeda through the middle and then Jota and Liel Abada on either side of him.
They have pace and can really cause the Rangers’ defence problems. I think Celtic can hurt them and I would go for a 2-1 win for Ange Postecoglou’s side.
A fortnight after the Hampden clash the two clubs meet again at Celtic Park in the final Derby match of the season.